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  • Dale Rouessart

Is your Property EPC compliant?

On 8 December 2020 as published in the Government Gazette, Energy Performance Certificates are now mandatory for

· private sector buildings,

· non-residential buildings with a total net floor area of over 2000sqm,

· and government buildings of over 1000sqm.

The certificates must be displayed at the building’s main entrance. It must also be submitted to the South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI).

With the law now in effect, building owners are required to obtain an EPC within two years from an accredited body.

How does an EPC rating work?

Your EPC will have two main charts with the rating bands. The bands go from A to G, with A being the best rating your home can have, and G being the worst. In the chart, you can see the current rating and potential rating, if you were to carry out the recommended property improvements.

The numbers in each rating reflect the government's Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) and go from 1 to 100 SAP points. These scores are divided into bands as follows:

EPC rating A = 92-100 SAP points (most efficient)

EPC rating B = 81-91 SAP points

EPC rating C = 69-80 SAP points

EPC rating D = 55-68 SAP points

EPC rating E = 39-54 SAP points

EPC rating F = 21-38 SAP points

EPC rating G = 1-20 SAP points (least efficient)

How to improve your EPC rating

Improving your EPC means improving your home's energy efficiency. It also means you could reduce your energy bills, make your home warmer and more comfortable and increase its value and reduce your carbon footprint. Here are some of the ways to improve your EPC:

  • Double glazing. Upgrading your windows and doors won't just improve your home's energy performance, it can reduce noise too

  • Loft insulation. It's easy to install, inexpensive and can make a huge difference to your bills. Install loft insulation that's at least 270mm thick

  • Wall insulation. Whether your home has cavity or solid walls, insulating them can improve your EPC rating and you might qualify for help with the costs

  • Replace your boiler. You can cut your energy bills with a new, energy-efficient boiler.

  • An efficient secondary heating source. Installing a wood-burning stove instead of an open fireplace can give you greater fuel efficiency and reduced costs in the long run.

  • Solar panels. these produce cheaper, greener energy.

The buildings will be assessed on data that is compiled over a 2-year period. This data would come from recorded data that can be gathered through energy sub-metering systems; energy bills or measurements. Energy from garages, car parks, storage areas and outdoor services (such as security, landscaping and lighting) can be excluded from the EPC provided that this energy does not exceed 10% of the total energy performance of the building.

What is the purpose of an EPC?

EPC’s will be available publicly and will give greater knowledge to buyers about the historical consumption of a building. Similar EPC’s have been in effect in Europe and the UK since 2007, where they are required when selling a property. Expect South Africa to follow suit.

The main purpose of an EPC is to monitor systems and gather data to inform the management of buildings and decisions around consumption and occupant behaviour – thus providing vital information on where consumption can be improved. In South Africa, over 77% of our electricity is produced by coal. Pair that with our current load shedding situation, and a knowledge of our buildings’ energy usage has become even more important.

In addition, the SANS 10400XA regulation is heading towards an imminent update. The increase in energy demands and regulations will now force building owners, project teams and tenants to be more aware during all processes of a building. The EPC may be a time-consuming exercise to achieve but, over the long run, it will help building owners and users to understand their usage.

EPCs will also be used when properties are sold. As EPCs can be viewed by anyone looking to buy property, the energy usage of different properties can be easily compared, allowing for a greater knowledge of operational costs to be estimated before purchase and rental agreements are signed.

The impact on the South African Market

Gathering sufficient data over a period of time will also have the effect of allowing the energy performance of buildings in this country to be compared to how buildings perform internationally. Improvements in energy efficiency systems can be made with the knowledge gained during this process, eventually driving the further development of standards in this sector.

Over time, buildings will be marketed and sold as truly accredited and recognizable buildings. This doesn’t only apply to new buildings but also to existing buildings, which should be able to achieve a higher market value through improved energy performance, even though the building itself may be decades old.

We believe that EPCs represent an important opportunity for market change. With energy assessments and performance certificates we can shift owner and tenant mindsets around energy use, ultimately helping to decrease our dependence on fossil-based fuels in this sector.

With over 100,000 buildings requiring EPC assessment by the 8 December 2022 deadline, there is bound to be a backlog of applications to SANAS accredited Inspection Bodies. It is better to get the ball rolling sooner than later.

Getting an Energy Performance Certificate for your building does not have to be an enormous mountain to climb. With Archon as your informed partner and the correct preparation, we can turn this mandatory requirement into a real opportunity for improvement of your beloved property.

Proper and Effective metering is the first step in measuring your consumption. Then quantifying and making sense of the data is the second step. Recording and analyzing the results is the penultimate goal. Archon are the experts in this field and have doing this for more than 25 years.

Archon is here to help you get ahead of the pack and make sure that your building complies with the EPC Regulations before the deadline. Contact us today so we can get the wheels in motion for you.

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